GLOS is one of 11 Regional Associations of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), working to enhance the ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean and Great Lakes information. IOOS is a partnership among federal, regional, academic and private sector parties that work to provide data for tools and forecasts to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect our environment.


IOOS supplies critical information about our Nation’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. Scientists working to understand climate change, governments adapting to changes in the Arctic, municipalities monitoring local water quality, and industries affected by coastal and marine spatial planning all have the same need: reliable, timely, and sustained access to data and information that inform decision making.
Improving access to key marine data and information supports several purposes. IOOS data sustain national defense, marine commerce and navigation safety. Scientists use these data to issue weather, climate and marine forecasts. IOOS data are also used to make decisions for energy siting and production, economic development, and ecosystem-based resource management. Emergency managers and health officials need IOOS information to make decisions about public safety. Teachers and government officials rely on IOOS data for public outreach, training and education.

GLOS is a certified Regional Information Coordination Entity for the U.S. IOOS network. Being certified means organizational and operational practices, including data management, meet recognized standards set by NOAA. Certification documents are available at

The Global Observing Network

IOOS is the U.S. contribution to the Integrated Earth Observation System (IEOS) and Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) as part of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). GLOS is a participating organization in GEO and provides technical and secretariat support to the regional Canadian and U.S. partnership: GEO-Great Lakes. Under the leadership of USGS and Environment Canada, the Great Lakes partnership includes representatives from many U.S. and Canadian agencies that have a role in the collection and exchange of information in the Great Lakes.

On behalf of GEO-Great Lakes, GLOS maintains a metadata catalog (GEO Network) that is registered and discoverable through GEO’s Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

More about GLOS

info sheet 2018

The Near-Term Design of the Great Lakes Observing System Enterprise Architecture Report contains recommendations for specific actions and investments over five years that will achieve an integrated , comprehensive and sustainable observing system for the Great Lakes. This Great Lakes Observing System Enterprise -a highly leveraged evolution of existing resources- provides ready access to vital real-time and historical information to support decision making by managers and users of this unique and invaluable resource. This report is a summary of the collection of design report documents that have been completed under this project. The documents contain a design report, concept of operations report, trade study report and implementation plan.


Enterprise Architecture two page summary

Complete report:

Enterprise Architecture complete report


GLOS bylaws

IOOS certification one-sheet

Regional Association populations



Contribute your data

GLOS helps improve data access and integration by providing the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and other international standards-based data management services. Connect with GLOS to share your data.